« EelmineJätka »
Shortly afterward we took possession of forest road. It was broad enough for two our new residence. The house was a square horsemen abreast, and branched off in three building, consisting of four equal - sized directions ; the main line guing to the village joums; the tiled roof projected all round, so of Ourem, a distance of 50 miles. This road as to form a broad veranda, cool and pleas. formerly extended to Maranham, but it had ant to sit and work in. The cultivated been long in disuse, and was now grown up, ground, which appeared as if newly cleared being scarcely passable between Pará and from the forest, was planted with fruit trees Ourem. aud smail plots of coffee and mandioca. The Our researches were made in various dientrance to the grounds was by an iron-grille rections along these paths, and every day gateway from a grassy square, around which produced us a number of new and inieresi. were built the few houses and palm-thatched ing species. Collecting, preparing our spechuts which then constituted the village. The imens, and making notes, kept us well occumost important building wus the chapel of pied. One day was so much like another our Lady of Nazareth, which stood opposite that a generai description of the diurnal our place. The saint here enshrined was a round of incidents, including the sequence of great favorite with all orthodox Paraenses, natural phenomena, will be sufficient to give who attributed to her the performance of an idea of how days pass to naturalists un. many miracles. The image was to be seen der the equator. on the altar, a handsome doll about four feet We used to rise soon after dawn, when high, wearing a silver crown and a garment Isidoru would go down to the city, after supof blue silk studded with golden stars. In plying us with a cup of coffee, to purchase and about the chapel were the offerings that the fresh provisions for the day. The two bad been made to her, proofs of the miracles bours before breakfast were devoted to orni. which she had performed. There were models thology. At that early period of the day the ur legs, arms, breasts, and so forth, which sky was invariably cloudless (the thermomeshe had cured. But most curious of all was ter marking 12° or 73° Fahr.); the heavy dew a ship's boat, deposited here by the crew of or the previous pigb!'s rain, which lay on the & Portuguese vessel which had foundered, a moist foliage, becoming quickly dissipated year or two before our arrival, in a squall off by the glowing sun, which rising straight out Cayenne ; part of them having been saved in of the east, mounted rapidly toward the the boat, after invoking the protection of the zenith. All pature was fresh, new leaf and saint here eushrined The annual festival in flower-tuds expanding rapidly. Some morn. honor of our Lady of Nazareth is the great. ings a single tree would appear in flower est of the Pará holidays ; many persons come amid what was tbe preceding evening a unito it from the neighboring city of Maran- form green mass of forest-à dume of blosham, 300 miles distant. Once the President som suddenly created as if by 'magic. The ordered the mail steamer to be delayed two birds were all active ; from the wild-fruit days at Pará for the convenience of these trees, not far off, we often heard the shrill visitors. The popularity of the festa is partis yelping of the Toucans (Rampbastos vitelliowing to the beautiful weather that pre- nus). Small flocks of parrots flew over on vails when it takes place, namely,' in most mornings, at a great height, appearing the middle of the fine season, on the ten in distinct relief against the blue sky, always days preceding the full moon in October two by two, chattering to each other, the (ir November. Pará is then seen at its best. pairs being separated by regular intervals ; The weather is not too dry, for three weeks their bright colors, however, were not apnever follow in succession without a shower: parent at that height. After breakfast we 80 that all the glory of verdure and flowers devoted the hours from 10 A.M. to 2 or 3 P.M. can be enjoyed with clear skies. The moon to entomology ; the best time for insects in jit nights are then especially beautiful; the the forest being a little before the greatest atmosphere is transparently clear, and the heat of the day. light sea breeze produces an agreealie cool The heat increased rapidly toward two Dess.
o'clock (92° and 93° Fahr.), by which time We now settled ourselves for a few months' every voice of bird or mammal was hushed ; regular work. We had the forest on three only in the trees was heard at intervals the sides of us ; it was the end of the wet sea. harsh whirr of a cicada. The leaves, which son ; most species of birds bad finished were so moist and fresh in early moruing. moulting, and every day the insects increased now become lax and droopipy; the flowers in number and variety. Behind the rociuha, shed their petals. Our neighbors, the Indian after several days' exploration, I found á and mulatto inhabitants of the open palmseries of pathways through the woods, which thatched buts, as we returned home fatigued led to the Una road; about half way was with our ramble, were either asieep in their the house in which the celebrated travellers hammocks or seated on mats in the shade, Spix and Martius resided during their stay at too languid even to talk. On most days in Pará, in 1819. It was now in a neglected June and July x heavy shower would fall condition, and the plantations were over. some time in the afternoon, producing a grown with bushes. The paths hereabuut most welcoine coolness. The approach of were very productive of insects, and being the rain-clonds was after a uniform fashion entirely under sbade were very pleasant for very interesting to observe. First, the cool strolling. Close to the doors began the main sea-breeze, wbich commenced to blow about
ten o'clock, and which had increased in force ing notes. We dined at four, and took tea with the increasing power of the sun, would about seven o'clock, Sometimes we walked flag and finally die away. The heat and to the city to see Brazilian life or enjuy the electric tension of the atmosphere would then pleasures of European and American society. become almost insupportable. Languor and And so the time passed away from June 15ih uneasiness would seize on every one ; even to August 26th. During this period we the denizens of the forest betraying it by made two excursions of greater length to the their motions. White clouds would appear ice and saw-muills of Magoury, an establislıin the east and gather into cumuli, wich an ment owned by an American gentlenian, dir. increasing blackness along their lower por- Upton, situated on the banks of a creek in tions. The whole eastern horizon would be
the heart of the forest, about twelve miles come almost suddenly black, and this would from Pará. I will parrate some ot the incispread upward, the sun at length becoming deuts of these excursions, and give an ac. obscured. Then the rush of a miguty wiud co
count of the more interestiny observations is heard through the forest, swavipe the tree- made on the natural history and inhabitants tops ; a vivid tash of lighining bursts forth, of these interior cree
of these interior creeks and furests. then a crash of thunder, and down streams Our first trip to the mills was by land. the deluging ain. Such storms sonn cease. The creek on whose bauks they stand, the lea zing blui:h-black motionless clouds in the Iritirí, cominuuicates with the river Pars sky until night. Meantime all nature is re. through another larger creek, the Magoary ; freshed; but heaps of flower-petals and fall- so that there is a passage by water, but this en leaves are seen under the trees. Toward is about twenty miles round. We started at evening life revives again, and the ringing sunrise, taking Isidoro with us. The road uproar is resumed from bush and tree: The plunged at once into the forest after leaving following morning the sun avuin rises in a Nazareth, so that in a few minutes we were cloudless sky, and so the cycle is completed : enveloped in shade. For some distuuce the spring, summer, and autumn, as it were, in woods were of second growth, the original one tropical day. The days are more or less forest near the town having been formerly like this throughout the year in this country.
cleared or thinned. They were dense and A little difference exists between the ury aud impenetrable on account of the close growth wet seasons : but generally, the dry season. of the young trces and the mass of thorns which lasts from July to December:' is varied shrubs and creepers. These thickets swarmed with showers, and the wet, from January to with ants and ant-thrushes : they were also June, with sunny days. It results from this frequented by a species of puff-throated manthat the periodical phenomena of plants and ikin, a little bird which flies occasionally animals do not take place at about the same across the road, emitting a strange noise, time in all species, or in the individuals of made, I believc, with the wings, and resem. any given species, as they do in temperate bling the clatter of a small wooden rattle. countries. Of course there is no hiberna- A mile or a mile and a half further on, the tion ; nor, as the dry season is not excessive. character of the woods began to change, and Is there any summer torpidity as in some we then_found ourselves in the primeval tropical countries. Plants do not flowc: or forest. The appearance was greatly different shed their leaves, nor do birds moult. pair from that of ine swampy trac: I have aiready or breed simultaneously. In Europe, a woud. described. The land was rather niore ele. land scene has its spring, its suaimer, its vated and undulating ; the inany swamp autumnal, and its winter aspects. In the plants with their long and broad leaves were equatorial forests the aspect is the sume or wanting, and there was less underwood, alnearly so every day in the year: budding. though the trees were wider apart. Through flowering, fruiting, and leaf shedding are al. this wilderness the road continued for seven ways going on in one species or other. The or eight miles. The same unbroken forest activity of birds and insects proceeds without extends all the way to Maranham and in other interruption, each species having its own directions, as we were told, a distance of separate times; the colonies of wasps. for about 300 miles southward and eastward of instance, do not die off annually, leaving only Pará. In almost every hollow part the road the queens, as in cold climates, but the suc. was crossed by a brook, whose cold, dark, cession of generations and colonies cues on leaf-stained waters were bridged over by treeincessantly. It is never either spring sum. trunks. The ground was carpeted, as usual, mer, or autumn, but each day is a combina. by Lycopodiums, but it was also incumbered tion of all three. With the day and night als with inasses of vegetable débris and a thick ways of equal length, the atmospheric dis- coating of dead leaves. Fruits of many kinds turbances of each day neutralizing theniselves were scattered about, among which were before each succeeding morn; with the sun many sorts of beans, some of the pods a foot in its course proceeding midway across the long, flat and leathery in texture, others barc/ sky, and the daily temperature the same as stone. In one place there was a quantity within two or three degrees througbout the of large empty woodeu vessels, which Isiduro year-bow grand in its perfect equilibrium told us fell from the Sapucuya tree. They and simplicity is the march of Nature under are called monkeys' drinking-cups (Cuyas de the equator !
Maccan), and are the capsules which contain. Our evenings were generally fully em. the a!ts sold under the names just mentioned, ploved preserving our collections and make in Covent Garden Market. Abyde top of the
vessel is a circular hoie, in which a natural where lateral growth of the roots in the earth lid fits neatly. When the nuts are ripe, this is rendered dificult by the multitude of com. lid becomes loosened, and the heavy cup falls petitors. with a crash, scattering the nuts over the The other grand forest trees whose native ground. The tree which yields the nut Dames we learned, were the Moira-tinga (the (Lecythis ollaria), is of immense height. It White or King-tree), probably the same as, is closely allied to the Brazil-nut tree (Berthole or allied to, the Mora excelsa, which Sir Roba letia excelsa), whose seeds are also inclosed ert Schumburgk discovered in British Gui. in large woody vessels ; but these have no ana ; the Samaüma (Eriodendron Samauma) lid, and fall entire to the ground. This is the and the Massarauduba, or Cow-tree. The reason why the one kind of nut is so much last-mentioned is the most remarkable. We dearer than the other. The Sapucaya is not had already heard a good deal about this less abundant, probably, than the Bertholletia, tree, and about its producing from its bark a but its nuts in falling are scattered about and copious supply of milk as pleasant to drink eaten by wild animals ; while the full cap- as that of the cow. We had also eaten its sules of Brazil-nuts are collected entire by the fruit in Pará, where it is sold in the streets Natives.
by negru market woman; and had heard a What attracted us chiefly were the colossal gond deal. f the durableness in water of its trees. The general run of trees had not re- timber. We were glad, therefore, to see this markably thick stems; the great and uni. wonderful tree growing in its ,uative wilds. form beight to which they grow without It is one of the largest of the forest monemitting a branch was a much more notice- archs, and is peculiar in appearance on acable feature than their thickness ; but at in- count of its deeply-scored, reudish, and ragtervals of a furlong or so a veritable giant ged bark. A (lecoction of the bark, I was towered up. Only one of these monstrous told, is used as a red dye for cloth. A few trees can grow within a giren space; it mo- days after ward we tasted its milk, which nopolizes the domain, and none but individ. was drawn from dry loys that had been stand uals of much inferior size can find a footing ing many days in the hot sun, at the sawnear it. The cylindrical trunks of these mills. It was pleasant with coffee, but had a larger trees were generally about 20 to 25 slight rankness when drank pure ; it soon feet in circumference. Von Martius men- thickens to a glue, which is excessively tenations having measured trees in the Pará dis- cious, and is often used to cement broken trict, belonging to various species (Sympho. crockery. I was told that it was not safe to nia coccinea, Lecythis sp. and Cratæva Ta. drink much of it, for a slave bad recently pia), which were 50 to 60 feet in girth at the nearly lost his life through taking it too point where they become cylindrical. The freely. height of the vast column-like stens could In some parts of the road ferns were connot be less than 100 feet from the ground to spicuous objects. But I afterward found their lowest branch. Mr. Leavene, at the them much more numerous on the Maranham saw-mills, told me they frequently squared road, especially in one place where the whole logs for sawing 100 feet long, of the Pao forest glade formed a vast fernery ; the d'Arco and the Massaranduba. The total ground was covered with terrestrial species, height of these trees, stem and crown to- and the tree-trunks clothed with climbing and gether, may be estimated at from 180 to 200 epiplıytous kinds. I saw no tree terns in the feet : where one of them sands, the vast Pará district ; they belong to hilly regions ; dome of foliage rises above the other forest some occur, however, on the Upper Amatrees as a domed cathedral does above the zons. other buildings in a city.
Such were the principal features in the A very remarkable feature in these trees is vegetation of the wilderness ; but where were the growth of buttress-shaped projections the flowers ? To our great disappointment around We lower part of their stems. The we saw none, or only such as were insignifispaces between these buttresses, which are cant in appearance. Orchids are very rare generally thin walls of woud, form spacious in the dense forests of the low lands. I be, chambers, and may be cimpared to stalls in lieve it is now tolerably well ascertained that a stable : some of them are large enough to the majority of forest trees in equatorial Brahold half a dozen persons. The purpose of zil have small and inconspicuous flowers. these structures is as obvious, at the first Flower-frequenting insects are also rare in glance, as that of the similar props of brick- the forest. Of course they would not be work which support a lugh wall. They are found where their favorite food was want. not reculiar to one species, but are common ing, but I always noticed that even wbere to most of the larger forest tites. Their fluwers occurred in the forest, few or no innature and manner of growth are explained sects were seen upon them. In the open when a series of young trees of different country or campos of Santarem, cn the ages is examined. It is then seen that they Lower Amazjus, flowering trees and bushes are the roots which have raised themselves are more abundant, and there a large numridge-like cut of the earth ; growing giad. ber of floral insects are attracted. The forest ually upward as the increasing height of the bees of South America belonging to the tree required augmented support. Thus they gepera Melipona and Euglosea are more freare planuly intended to sustain the massive quently scen fceding on the swect sap which crown and trunk in these crowded forests, exudes from tbe trees, or on the excrement of birds on leaves, tban on flowers.
midst of the stillness, a sudden yell or scream We were disappointed also in not meeting will startle one ; this comes from some de. with any of the larger animals in the forest. fenceless fruit. eating animal, which is There was no tumultuous movemeut, or pounced upon by a tiger-cut or stealthy boa. sound of life. We did not see or bear mon- constrictor. Morning and evening the bowl• keys, and no tapir or jaguar crossed our path. ing monkeys make a most fearful and harrowBirds, also, appeared to be exceedingly ing noise, under which it is difficult to keep scarce. We heard, however, occasion. up one's buoyancy of spirit. The feeling of ally the long-drawn, wailing note of the inhospitable wildness which the forest is cal. Inambú, a kind of partridge (Crypturus cine- culated to inspire is increased tenfold under reus ?); aud, also, in the hollows on thic this fearful uproar. Often, even in the still banks of the rivulets, the noisy notes of an- liours of midday, a sudden crash will be other bird, which seemed to go in pails, heard resounding nfar through the wilderamong the tree-tops, calling to each other as ness, as some great bough or entire tree falls they went. These potes resounded through to the ground. There are, besides, many the wilderness. Another solitary bird had a sounds which it is impossibe to account for. most sweet and melancholy song ; it consisted I found the natives generally as much at a simply of a few notes, uttered in a plaintive loss in this respect as myself. Sometimes a key, commencing high, and descending by sound is heard like the clany of an iron bar harmonic intervals. It was probably a spe. against a hard, hollow tree, or a piercing cry cies of warbler of the genus Tiebas. All rends the air ; these are not repeated, and theso nutes of birds are very striking and the succeeding silence tends to heighten the characteristic of the forest.
unpleasant impression which they make on I afterward saw reason to modify my the mind. With the native it is always the opinion, founded on these first impressions, Curupia, the wild man or spirit of the forwith regard to the amount and variety of au• est, which produces all noises they are unimal life in this and other parts of the Ame- able to explain. For myths are the rude zonian forests. There is, in fact, a great va- theories which mankind, in the infancy of riety of mammals, birds, and reptiles, but knowledge, invent to explain natural phe. they are widely scattered, and all excessively pome na. The Curupíra is a mysterious besliy of man. The region is so extensive, and ing, whose attributes are uncertain, for they uniform in the forest clothing of the surface, vary according to locality. Sometimes he is that it is only at long intervals that animals described as a kind of orang-otang, being are seen in abundance, where some particu. covered with long shaggy hair, and living lar spot is found which is more attractive in trees. At others he is said to have clothan others. Brazil, moreover, is throughout ven feet and a bright red face. He has a wife puor in terrestrial mammals, and the species and children, and sometimes comes down to are of small size ; they do not, therefore, the rocas to steal the mandioca. At one form a conspicuous feature in its forests. time I had a mameluco youtb in my service. The huntsman would be disappointed who whose head was full of the legends and su. expected to tind here flocks of animals simi. perstitions of the country. He always went lar to the buffalo herds of North America, with me into the forest ; in fact, I could not or the swarms of antelopes and herds of pon. get bim to go aloue, and whenever we heard derous pachyderms of Southern Africa. The any of the strange noises mentioned above, largest and most interesting portion of the Bra- he used to trenible with fear. He would ziliau mammal fauna is arboreal in its lah. crouch down behind me, and beg of me to its ; this feature of the animal denizens of turn back; his alarm ceasing only after he these forests I have already alluded to. The had made a charm to protect us from the inost intensely arboreal animals in the world Curupíra. For this purpose he took a young are the South American monkeys of the fam- palm-leaf, plaited it, and formed it into a ils Cebidæ, many of which have a fifth land ring, which he hung to a branch on our track. for climbing in their prehensile tails, adaprel At length, after a six hours' walk, we arrivedl for this functiou by their strong muscular at our destination, the last mile or two hav. development, and the naked palms under ing been again through second-growth for: their tips. This seems to teach us that the est. The mills formed a large pile of builla South American fauna has been slowly inys, pleasantly situated in a cleared tract of adapted to a forest life, and, therefore, that land, mapy acres in extent, and everywhere extensive forests must have always existeid surrounded by the perpeiua! forest. We since the region was first peopled by mam- were received in the kindest mauner by the malia. But to this subject, and to the nal- overseer, Mr. Leuvens, who showed us all ural history of the monkeys, of which thirty. that was interesting about the place, and took eight species inhabit the Amazon regiun, I us to the best spots in the neighborhood for shall have to return.
birds and insects. The mills were built a We often read, in books of travels, of the loug time ago by a wealthy Brazilian. They silence and gloom of the Brazilian forests. had belonged to Mr. Upton for many years. They are realities, and the impression deep. I was told that when the dark-skinned revo. enson & Junger acquajutance. The few lutionists were preparing for their attack on Bounds of birds are of that pensive or mys. Pará, they occupied the place, but not the terious character which intensifies the feel- slightest injury was done to the machinery or ing of solituile rather than imparts & sense of building, for the leaders said it was against life and cheerfulness. Sometimes, in the the Portuguese and their party that they were
at war, not against the other foreigners. of a hair's breadth would send all to the bot. - The creek Iritirí at the mills is only a few tom, but they managed to cross in safety. yards wiõe; it winds about between two They are especially careful when they have lofty walls of forest for sme distance, the strangers under their charge, and it is the becomes much broader, and finally joins the custom of Brazilian and Purtuguese travel. Magoary. There are niany other ramifica- lers to leave the whole management to them. tions, creeks or channels, which lead to re. When they are alone, they are more reck. tired hamiets and scattered houses, inhabited less, and often have to swim for their lives. by people of mixed white, Indian, and negro If a squall overtakes them as they are crossdescent. Many of them did business with ing in a heavily-laden canoe, they all jump Mr. Lcavens, bringing for sale their little overboard and swim about until the heavy harvests of rice or a few lugs of timber. It rea subsides, when they re-embark. was interesting to see them in their little : heavily · laden montarias. Sometimes the A few words on the aboriginal population boats were managed by handsome, healtby of the Pará estuary will here pot be out of young lads, loosely clad in straw hat, white place. The banks of the Pará were origin. shirt, and dark blue trousers turned up to ally inhabited by a number of distinct tribes, the knee. They sicered, paddled, and man- who, in their habits, resembled very much aged the vurejað (the boating pole) with much the natives of the sea.coast from Maranham grace and dexterity.
to Bahia. It is related that one large tribe, We made many excursions down the Iritirí, the Tupinambae, migrated from Pernambuco and saw much of these creeks ; besides, our to the Amazons. Onc fuct secms to be well second visit to the mills was by water. The establisbed, namely, that all the coast tribey Maguary is a magnificent channel ; the differ. were far more advanced in civilization, and ent branches forın quite a labyrinth, and the milder in their mappers, than the savages land is everywhere of little elevation. All who inhabited the interior lands of Brazil. these smaller rivers throughout the Pará es. They were settled in villages, and addicted tuary are of the nature of creeks. The land tu agriculture. They Davignted the rivers in is so level that the short local rivers have no large cunoes, called ubás, made of immense sources and dwnward currents, like rivers hollowed-out tree trunks ; in these they used as wc gencrally understand them. They to go on war expeditions, carrying in the serve the purpose of druining the land, but prows their trophies and calabash rattles, instead of having a constant current one way, whose clatter was meant to intimidate their they have a regular ebb and flow with the enemies. They were gentle in disposition, tide. The natives call them, in the Tupí and received the early Portuguese settlers language, Igarapés, or canoe-paths. The with great friendliness. The inland savages, igarapés and firos or channels, which are in- vp the other hand, led a wandering life, as finite in number in this great river delta, are they do at the present time, only coming characteristic of the country. The land is down occasionally to rob the plantations of everywhere covered with impenetrable for- the coast trihes, who always entertained the ests ; the houses and villages are all on the greatest enmity toward them. waterside, and nearly all communication is The original Indian tribes of the district by water. This semi-aquatic life of the are now eiīher civilized or have amalgamated people is one of the most interesting features with the white and negro immigrants. Their of the country. For short excursions, and distinguished tribal names have long been for fishing in still waters, a small boat, called forgotten, and the race bears now the gen. moutaria, is universally used. It is made of eral appellation of Tapuyo, which seems to five plarks ; a broad one for the bottom, be one of the dames of the ancient Tupinambent into the proper shape by the action of bas. The Indians of the interior, still reheat, two narrow ones for the sides, and two maining in the savage state, are called by the small triangular pieces for stem and stern. Brazilians Indios, or Gentios (Heathens). All It has no rudder ; the paddle serves for both the semi- civilized Tapuyos of the villages, steering and propelling. The montaria takes and in fuct the inhabitants of retired places here the place of the horse, mule, or camel generally, speak the Lingoa geral, a language of other regions. Besides one or more mon- adapted by the Jesuit missionaries from the tarias, almost every family has a larger canoe, original idium of the Tupinambas. The lan. called Igarité. This is fitted with two guage of the Guaranis, a nation living on the masts, a rudder, and keel, and has an arched banks of the Paraguay, is a dialect of it, and awning or cabin near the stern, made of & hence it is called by philologists the Tupi. framework of tough lianas, thatched with Guarani language ; printed grammars of it palm-leaves. In the igarité they will cross are always on sale at the shops of the Pará stormy rivers fifteen or twenty miles broad. booksellers. The fact of one language hav. The natives are all boat-builders. It is often ing been spoken over so wide an extent of remarked, by white residents, that an Indian country as that from the Amazons tu Parais a carpenter and shipwright by intuition.guay, is quite an isolated one in this country, It is astonishing to see in what crazy vessels und points to considerable migrations of the these people will risk themselves." I have Indian tribes in former times. At present seen Indians cross rivers in a leaky monturia, the languages spoken by neighboring tribes when it required the nicest equilibrium to on the banks of the interior rivers are totally keep the leak just above water ; a nuorement distinct ; op the Juruá, even scattered bordes